Cornyn: Reid's proposed Senate health care bill will have negative impact

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn Nov. 19, 2009, 9:49am

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released his 2,074-page health care bill, which Senate Budget Committee analysis shows will cost American taxpayers $2.5 trillion when fully implemented over 10 years.

Until we have had a chance to read the full 2,074 page Reid Bill, it's impossible for Americans to fully grasp what the Majority Leader has cooked up behind closed doors. It is my hope that Sen. Reid will afford all Americans the same courtesy that he had: ample time to study the legislation and deliberate the best way to proceed.

What we do know so far, as reported by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is that this bill will have a wide, negative impact on Americans across the board – from seniors on Medicare to small business owners to future generations of Americans who will be footing the bill.

The bill will increase taxes on all Americans by nearly half a trillion dollars and breaks the president's pledge not to raise taxes on working families earning less than $250,000 —- at a time that unemployment is at a 26-year high.

While CBO has not been given time to analyze the Reid bill's impact on premiums, every other independent analysis to date has found that Reid's new mandates and taxes will increase health care premiums on American families. The Reid bill increases taxpayer spending and liability for health care over the next 10 years —- instead of reforming our already insolvent entitlement programs.

It will gut the already insolvent Medicare program by $464.6 billion, hurting access to care for seniors. It includes a government-run public option that will, according to CBO, have premiums higher than private plans and cause millions of Americans to lose the coverage they currently have.

The largest expansion of Medicaid since it was created means the Medicaid program will be the only coverage option for 60 million Americans. It will also impose $28 billion in punitive taxes on employers who do not comply with Washington's new job-killing mandates.

These initial findings are troubling, to say the least. My staff and I will be pouring over the 2,074 pages, assuming we are given the time to do so. You can access the full text of the Reid bill from my Web site:

It is essential that Congress take the time get health care reform right. If the president and majority leader are more interested in getting health care reform right for all 300 million Americans than they are in putting a political feather in their cap for the midterm elections, this shouldn't be an issue.

Sen. John Cornyn wants to keep Texans informed and engaged as the debate on health care reform moves forward in Washington. Please visit and to share your ideas for how best to reform our health care system and to recommend others who might want to join the dialogue by receiving these Health Care Reform Alerts.

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